Whether Newt Gingrich's romp in the South Carolina primary blew the GOP nomination race wide open or whether it is just a blip that Mitt Romney and his allies will hammer down remains to be seen. But there's little doubt that whoever gets the GOP nomination will be badly weakened by the relentlessly nasty campaigns waged this primary season, and that unless it wins the White House, the party will erupt in open civil war on November 7th.
In fact, there's a lot to be said for casting all the rascals out and starting over with a fresh face. It would throw the Obama campaign off balance. It would give both the GOP base and what's left of the party mainstream an alternative to the much-loathed Mitt Romney, or Newt Gingrich and his baggage. And it would give the independents who will really chose the next president an alternative to voting with a deep sigh.
But who? Jon Huntsman has dropped out. Tim Pawlenty and Chris Christie are too smart to run. John Bolton even scares the Pentagon. Sarah Palin? Please.
Which leads me to suggest the GOP do something bold. Something unexpected. Something... audacious.
It should nominate Goldman Sachs for president.
Goldman Sachs is well-qualified to be president. It's a person -- the Roberts Court says so. It has constitutional rights. It's over 35. It's native born. It could finance its own campaign and wouldn't owe contributors anything. It has deep government experience, and relationships -- many former employees -- at every important level of government. Cynics would even whisper it already owns the government anyway. And wouldn't denying Goldman the right to run for office violate its First Amendment rights?
Goldman Sachs could solve some of our most serious problems. The national debt? Goldman could create a public company to collect America's tax revenue, sell shares in the company, and use that money to pay off the debt; then use the revenue to back bonds, create bond pools based on calculated pre-payments and defaults, use those bond pools to create synthetic derivatives, get it all rated AAA, and then bet against the deal with credit default swaps.
And if you think that sounds suspiciously like the South Sea Bubble that almost wrecked Britain's economy in 1720 -- well, it's different this time. These boys and girls know what they're doing. You can trust them to do right, because it's in their interest. They're perfectly capable of regulating themselves.
Don't like Goldman Sachs? Don't want to hand America over to Wall Street too obviously? I can understand that. What about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce?
The principle's the same. The Chamber has all the qualifications for office Goldman has, plus access to the combined wisdom of all Corporate America's boardrooms. Need to build roads and bridges? Halliburton would be there for us. Revive America's manufacturing sector? Koch Industries can tell us anything we need to know. Manage the nation's airways? Bain Capital owns Clear Channel and already controls most of America's radio and TV stations.
Could you ask for more?
And here's the upside: America wouldn't have to pretend anymore that nations are anything but administrative conveniences for the world's real owners -- international corporations. And America's citizens could become what they've always secretly yearned to be -- shareholders in the world's most successful company.
It could all be like the world Paddy Chayevsky prophesied in Network:
"The world is a business, Mr. Beale! It has been since man crawled out of the slime, and our children, Mr. Beale, will live to see that perfect world, in which there is no war and famine, oppression and brutality -- one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused."
Tell me that wouldn't save the GOP's bacon.